Monthly Archive for August, 2008

commitment….

Scooter_wed_copy_6

         

"commitment" is almost nobody’s favorite word….

"freedom", "fly", "space" seem to be more comfy life "key words"….easier for one thing…and whole supporting  philosophies to go along with them….but, as we all know, at some point anyway, only through commitments do we get anything done at all either personally or professionally…

last sunday on a Carolina beach ,above,  Amanda Pitts became Amanda Halladay…..she gave up her "freedom" to marry the ever elusive can’t pin me down vagabond of all vagabonds surfer boy Scott "Scooter" Halladay…you may read about Scooter in one of my chapters in Divided Soul and realize the extent of  my long relationship with Scoot since he was a young boy living at the other end of Pinetree Road… my son Bryan’s best friend in Richmond and now in the wind whipped surfer community of the Outer Banks….

Amanda and Scooter announced their beach wedding less than 24 hours before it happened, therefore extending their reputations for non-conformists right up until the final "i do" here on Hatteras Island, the water burial ground of almost 300 storm related shipwrecks, and where even the crews of German U-boats,  during WWII, used to sneak ashore and get a suntan right here on these long white beaches and just a few miles from where the Wright brothers launched the first powered airplane in 1903 and Blackbeard the pirate, in the early 1700’s, retired here to enjoy his loot from  hijacking ships of commerce…

lots of history for a rather "out of the way" thin strip of land likely to be erased in any hurricane, but as far as we are concerned, the Amanda/Scooter wedding is at the top of the list of "important events"…everyone down here figures that if those two can make a commitment, then all things are possible..

speaking of relationships, we have one right here….because i happen to be on vacation right now, i let the last post hang a bit too long and yet the comments are getting close to 700…crazy…..conversation…online friends…chit chat…serious thinking and references….assignments coming to fruition….work to be shared and displayed….an internet phenomenon by any reckoning….

so, now what do we do??  stay as we are?? make a commitment for more??  by the end of September we will have all assignments finished i think and i will be ready to announce new grantees from EPF….there are other "awards" besides the cash grants to come, but i will announce those later…now, i just want to get a feel for what we should do next….

frankly, i cannot do more than i am doing right now…my personal photography just cannot take a back seat to managing this forum…..and i well know that none of you expect that nor suggest otherwise…however, if some of YOU were to volunteer your help , i think we could get better without getting bigger or losing our "personal touch"…. i have shunned advertising for our forum here because, well, i just think we should take our "popularity" and instead of advertising, have corporations and individuals sponsor your projects i.e. EPF …

so far, this has been an easy "sell" for me because it is just flat out a "worthy cause" at a time of shrinking photo budgets on every front..my only problem is that i just do not have the time go really go "out there" and sell it in the way that could really make it "fly"….we will have a permanent slot as part of Look3 and next year’s show will be "killer"..and i foresee we will do many more shows/exhibitions from the work generated here in 2008…a printed annual is an obvious possibility, but this will take some major fund raising  which i , in theory could easily do, but if i did i am afraid i would lose momentum on my family project….

in the next few weeks my schedule will take me to Perpignan (Sept 3-9) where i will meet many of you..we should discuss this if you are around…also ,in September ,  i have two weeks of workshops in my New York loft….then i will be back on the road with my "families"… somewhere in there, i would like to meet as many of you in New York  as i can…yes, a meeting at my place…..maybe between the two workshops…..maybe after….

your ideas on what we should do or what we can do are important…tell me, tell me….of course, we do not have to do anything different from what we already do….but, i would feel so proud if we could generate enough funding to have many of you working and with a nice publication as an end result…

again, getting "bigger" is not on my mind…..representing a growing and talented legion of photographers and writers who have made their online environment the very message itself, is potentially very interesting…it is what already happens here, but perhaps more of a commitment from some  of us could push our collaborative efforts towards its own logical evolution…

Amanda and Scooter, i wish you love and  happiness forever……

 

babies etc….

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this is just a guess, but i am imagining that most of the readers here do not have children…at least  not small children requiring lots of care or certainly not new babies…we do discusss so many topics involving our work and our respective careers, but i do not think we have spoken much about the effect of family or, more importantly perhaps,  marriage and the decision to have or not to have children….i do often hear discussions among photographers, both women and men, who surmize that marriage/family/children could somehow alter or stop the pursuit of a career in photography…particularly if travel is  involved….

Chris Anderson, conflict photographer extraordinairre, playfully holds aloft 6 week old Atlas, as his bride Marion, Newsweek magazine editor, looks on at breakfast yesterday morning in Tuscany…obviously Chris and Marion both have careers that require lots and lots of attention and yet little Atlas needs his fare share of their time as well…

there are certainly many examples of men and women in our craft who have successful marriages and raise emotionally healthy children, but there are also many stories of exactly the opposite…i  personally do not subscribe to the often repeated theory that photographers in particular are particularly susceptible to failed marriages etc., but surely it takes a special combo to make it all "work"….i did manage , with the sustained help of my now ex-wife, to take my sons on so so many assignments around the world….but, i was not working in conflict zones and i was also not jumping from one two day assignment to another…i had long periods of time in one place…

Alessandra Sanguinetti (below) , also with Magnum and author of "On the Sixth Day" lives happily in New York with her photographer husband Martin and their one and a half year old Catalina….they seem to me to be "living happily ever after", but i am sure there must be times of compromise between her career and his….

both photographers are being included in my new family work and i started shooting Chris and Marion long before Atlas was born…i plan to photograph Alessandra and Martin in the coming year..(no, these are digi photos and not the REAL pictures for this project, but i love snapshots just like anyone else…)

i am curious how you feel about family and your career…..will you "wait" until your professional life is established before you raise a family , or will you just go ahead and figure out how it all blends later?

 

Alessandra_sang